News Briefs

Oregon soldier captured, killed
PORTLAND (AP) – The military has revealed that one soldierinitially listed as killed in action while riding in the samedoomed convoy as former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch was actuallycaptured by Iraqi fighters.

More than a year after the March 23, 2003, ambush, the militaryreleased new details to the family of Sgt. Donald Walters of Salem,Ore.

Walters “was held separately from his fellow soldiers and killedwhile in custody,” according to a news release from the OregonNational Guard.

In March, the Army posthumously awarded Walters the Silver Starfor gallantry with marked distinction.

Walters had initially been awarded the Bronze Star and thePurple Heart.

State budget exceedsprojections
SALEM (AP)- Oregon’s economic rebound is boosting the stategovernment’s revenue as state economists project higher profits -and taxes – from corporations, legislators heard Thursday.

A quarterly update by Tom Potiowsky, the state’s chiefeconomist, projects general fund-lottery revenue will be $142million higher than was estimated in the last forecast, inMarch.

A $75 million rise in expected corporate income tax collectionsaccounts for more than half of overall revenue growth.

Potiowsky’s report to the House Revenue Committee said Oregon’sjob growth in the past six months was at the highest rate in fouryears.

He is projecting just over $11 billion in general-fund lotteryrevenue for the two-year budget period ending in June 2005.

Local schools will get an additional $8.3 million in state aidfor the 2004-05 school year because of the new forecast.

The 2003-05 state schools budget has a provision that ifeconomists predicted an ending balance of more than $100 million inthe total state budget by June 2004, schools would get any extramoney above $100 million.

Potiowsky is estimating the state will end up with $108.3million on hand when the budget period ends in mid-2005.

The summer of taxes?
The state legislature has been trying to convene a special sessionfor summer to discuss taxes, but the 15 Senate Democrats havewithdrawn support, meaning majority support for a special sessionno longer exists.

The main topic would be a proposal on spending limits.

House Democratic Leader Jeff Merkley (D-Portland) said in a May20 statement that the proposal is not ready to be discussed and putto vote.

House Speaker Karen Minnis (R-Wood Village) issued a responseemphasizing the importance of meeting in summer.

New director of student success
PSU’s Graduate School of Education and Continuing Education hasnamed Jim Carlile as director of the Center for Student Success, ayear-old program that works to strengthen Oregon’s K-12 educationprograms through cooperative work and research.